2018 has indeed been a year of rebuilding. From a very lackluster start to the year, with just 26 seed deals, NYC Tech quickly rebounded with 42 deals in Q2, and has been able to maintain a steady pace ever since. We ended the year with 46 seed deals, a total that was down 6% from Q3, but up 77% from this time last year. Those 46 deals brought in a total of $81.6M in funding, just 7% shy of Q3’s total, and up 54% from Q4 2017.
While we’ve begun to see later-stage firms becoming increasingly selective in doling out funds, the most promising early-stage startups in the city continue to succeed in raising large rounds. Average deal size in Q4 hovered around $1.8 million – matching that of Q3 – and 2018 continued the five-year upward trend of increased deal size, even as total deal count has retreated from its peak in 2015.
Industries to Watch
Move over TripAdvisor
Heading to a new country can be overwhelming, but if a startup can solve that pain point, the prize on the other end comes in the form of $34 billion spent by US millennials traveling abroad for leisure. Noken, a Primary portfolio company, and Journy are both looking to simplify adventures abroad by streamlining trip planning in their own unique ways, while Plevo offers a new spin on smart luggage.
Wellness in all forms
In Q4, we witnessed five NYC startups from across the wellness spectrum raise nearly $10M. From an innovative healthware company (Care+Wear) that’s focused on creating positive and effective healing experiences through purpose-built clothing, to a personalized relationship coaching app (Relish), startups are approaching health and wellness from all angles.
It’s lonely at the top
In these times of rapid change, executives are finding it more and more difficult to adapt and find support. In Q4, Primary portfolio company Chief announced a $3M Seed round to build a private network for exceptional women who are VP level and above, while Boma Global brought in $1.25M to build a global network of local partners who can provide transformational learning experiences to business leaders, politicians, educators, entrepreneurs, and others.
Chat above all else
The rise of Slack and other chat platforms has changed the way employees communicate and digest information. June.ai is doubling down on this trend by transforming all email communication into a chat-like experience to increase employee engagement, while CodeStream is inserting chat capabilities directly into codebases.
Peace of mind, on demand
The future of work continues to be driven by startups looking to amplify a company’s core business. Whether it’s finding designers and developers to fix your website (Lorem) or research participants for qualitative studies (Respondent), new platforms are finding ways to bring peace of mind to their customers so they can focus on what truly matters.
Intelligence within reach
In Q4, we continued to see horizontal AI companies emerge to put knowledge in the hands of its users. From location intelligence (Topos) to sales and marketing insights (Whiz), startups are finding new ways of delivering unique insights distilled from large datasets.